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Egg Concerns

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello! I have searched the threads and found a lot BUT theyre all several years old. So I wanted to see if I summarized the information correctly before I take my "next steps".

 

HISTORY:

Henrietta, a red sex link, is a retired organic layer.  She is approximately 3-4 years old, but could be older, and 5 pounds of curiosity and mischief.  She lays HUGE eggs, pretty regularly.  About a month ago the girls came down with what (after copious research) I believe was Infectious Bronchitis.  I treated with Tylan as recommended to ward off other infections and VetRx to help with comfort.  All have recovered nicely EXCEPT that Henrietta is prone to soft-shells and shell-less eggs now.  I understand that IB can mess with the reproductive cycle so I'm not sure if this condition was caused by the IB or by age or something else.  

 

TREATMENT A:

I first began by upping her calcium intake... she didn't eat oyster shell (none of them did), so I started by adding it to their feed bowl to 'trick' them into eating it.  It worked, and now they'll peck at it free-will.  This has not been enough, however.  So I then gave her a single injection of Calcium Gluconate solution followed by about .75CC in a "treat" every day at bedtime.  Improvement, but not complete improvement.  I started backing off, just to see what happens, and that's when the shells disappeared completely.  Yesterday, after a oral treatment for the previous 2 days, she was back to an extremely soft shell, but at least it had a shell.

 

TREATMENT B (FUTURE TREATMENT(S))

What was recommended was the following:

- Add D3 to the mix (absorption may be an issue)

- More sunshine (We have a "window" that replaces one of the doors in the coop.  I use it in the winter to help heat the coop with sunlight; their run is pretty shaded in the winter, unfortunately.  I started taking the window off because the temps have risen BUT perhapsIi should not do that just yet...)

- ACV in the water (I've been adding the calcium glutonate, but maybe the others don't really need that)

- higher calcium feed... WHERE TO GET THIS?  Our feed stores (I've been to all 4) don't offer a high-calcium option - our feed is 4.3% and I don't even know if that's considered high/medium/low.  Maybe online?

 

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

post #2 of 3

If she did indeed have IB, then most likely that is where the problem is coming from. What what limited knowledge I have IB can dramatically affect laying and there is not a lot that can be done to correct it. It sounds like you may be on the right track by boosting the calcium for her. At least for now she is laying the egg and it is not traveling back up the oviduct and dropping into the abdomen which can cause other issues.

As far as taking the window off, fresh air is of course great, just make sure it's not a direct draft at night while roosting. If that is the only source of ventilation then you may want to consider adding venting along the roof line.

 

http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/80/infectious-bronchitis-ib-egglayers/

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/poultry/infectious_bronchitis/overview_of_infectious_bronchitis_in_poultry.html

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/common-egg-quality-problems

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

DOSAGE AND TIMING? ANYONE?

Dosage:

 - liquid calcium: I've been giving about 1/4 tsp (a little more than a cc) to my hen each day

 - vitamin D (one drop/day) which, according to the package, is 400IU

 - mushrooms - 1-2/day... just started doing this instead of the vitamin D as i didn't know the correct dosage and don't want to give her too much    

(I have a few cans of salmon that no one in my house will eat, so I may add that into the mix too)

 

Her eggs now have shells BUT they are so thin-shelled that they almost always dent on the way out, and if they don't, one of my egg-collectors (ages 11 and 13) will almost always dent them upon picking them up. :rolleyes: So we're making improvement - it's just...so...slow!      

 

Timing:

Any idea how long it will take for either

a.) the calcium/vitamin d mix will bring her eggs back to normal health?

b.) the IB (if that's what it was) will have passed through her system?

 

Other:

Yes, they have access to oyster shell all the time. :)  They don't really like it - they'd prefer their shells, so I give them those too.

Yes, they have access to sunny places during the day :)

 - except that we're presently in a 3-day spring snow storm and the sunlight has been somewhat limited.

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